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The Day that Goso Fell

A Tale from Tanzania

ByPhillip MartinPhillip Martin

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I enjoyed rewriting this tale and setting it to rhyme, but I was not sure if it would work as a children’s book. I mean, the teacher dies on page one and so many characters in the book get beaten up by Goso's students. However, there is so much to talk about. What happens when people jump to conclusions without all the facts? The story expanded, and chaos continued, until the truth was finally revealed. There are lessons to be discussed and learned. Most people who read this tale first ask me, “What’s a calabash?” I was introduced to this gourd when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia. Since this tale is from Tanzania, it appears the gourd has spread across the continent. The calabash was one of the world’s first cultivated plants that was not used as a food source. Dried calabash gourds were used as containers. In Liberia, they were also used as musical instruments and drinking glasses. And now, you know. Tanzania has long been my favorite tourist destination in Africa. It has the Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Maasai people, as well as the island of Zanzibar. Who can compete with that? When I visited Stonetown, in Zanzibar, I splurged to stay at the Hotel International, well beyond my usual budget. It was once the home of a wealthy Arab merchant. The four-story building oozed with character, history, and well-worn age. The host at the desk was a delightful guy named Mudi. I asked Mudi where I could find a local dish with cassava leaves and coconut milk called “kisambo”. Mudi didn’t miss a beat and replied, “At my home.” Of course, I accepted and the following day we climbed into a mini bus called a “matato” and headed home for a delicious experience on the Spice Island. I am continually surprised by the kindness of strangers along my path. Mudi’s mother and her girlfriends prepared a feast with a good dose of cinnamon and cardamom. I gathered recipes, which thrilled the women. The book is dedicated to Mudi and his wonderful family who gave Zanzibar such a special place in my heart.


Publication Date
Mar 13, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Phillip Martin, Illustrated by: Phillip Martin


Interior Color
US Letter (8.5 x 11 in / 216 x 279 mm)

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